2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Gave up half way through,
This review is from: Johannes Cabal: The Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal 3) (Hardcover)
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I don't often give up half way through a book, but had to admit defeat with this one. It seemed entertaining enough - the marriage of comedy and fantasy seemed appealing and the main character (necromancer-on-a-quest Johannes Cabal) intriguing. The setting was imaginative and events skipped along at a fairly furious pace.
What defeated me in the end was the writing itself. It beins by being amusing, but after a couple of hundred pages (and this book runs to well over 400) it starts to grate. It's just too self-consciously knowing - as though the author is constantly nudging you and winking, like Eric Idle in that ancient Monty Python sketch. It's as if he doesn't trust his own jokes to be funny or clever by themselves, and constantly oversells them with too many qualifying adjectives and adverbs, overlong sentences and far, far too much supporting explanation. the book breaks that most important of novelist's rules - "show, don't tell". At every plot development I felt I was being told what to think, what to feel, how to react, when to laugh. And in the end, it just got too much.
A shame - because this book had much else to recommend it. It's the first of this series I'd come across, so perhaps other readers will be more attuned to the peculiar writing style.